Opinions

By : 
Mike Larson
For some time now, I’ve been wondering about the potential for using carbon composites in the structural components of access and lifting equipment.
 
The durable, lighter-weight materials are showing up ever more frequently in structural components for a growing variety of other products, ranging from bicycle frames to high-end cars, bridges, and even aircraft fuselages, so do they have a future in aerial lifts, telehandlers, and cranes?
 
On the face of it, one might think that they would be lighter than steel, which could allow longer reach or hi
By : 
Mike Larson
Starting the Climb
I relish the chance to run equipment, so when I was one of more than 30 editors that JLG invited to experience a day at its newly expanded and improved customer training center in McConnellsburg, Pa., I accepted eagerly.
 
JLG’s invitation promised a tour of its training center; the chance to run a scissor lift, a boom lift, and a telehandler on the center’s proving ground; and a chance to ride up 185 ft. in the JLG 1850SJ, the world’s tallest self-propelled boom lift.
By : 
Mike Larson
As I write this column, I am in the midst of evaluating this year’s entries in Lift and Access magazine’s Leadership in Lifting Equipment and Aerial Platforms (LLEAP) awards. Soon, I’ll be compiling the scores from all of the judges, who include fleet managers, fleet owners, and all of the MCM Group’s editors.
 
If the health of the powered access, lifting, and material-handling industries can be estimated by the number and quality of LLEAP entries, all three segments are hearty.
By : 
Mike Larson
I’m proud to recently have earned a PAL card, verifying that I’ve been trained to operate scissor and boom lifts safely. I’m not likely to work in an aerial lift often, but I will get the chance to run one in order to evaluate how it operates, position it for an event, or reach a work site while researching an article.

Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers, accounting for 269 of the 775 construction fatalities recorded in 2012. According to Scott Owyen, global training manager for Terex AWP,.those deaths could have been preventable.In honor of OSHA’s National Fall Prevention Stand-Down, June 2 – 6, Terex AWP is providing the following safety tips for operating powered access equipmen to reduce the likelihood of a potential deadly fall.

 

During 2011 and 2012, two municipal workers were fatally injured while repairing traffic lights: Each was working from the raised bucket of an aerial lift truck and was thrown from the bucket when struck by a passing tractor-trailer.

As temperatures fall, vehicle batteries are usually the first to suffer from the cold, losing 35% of their strength at 30° F and 60% at 0° F. However, when faced with a vehicle that won¹t start, people are easily misled into thinking their batteries are dead and need replacing, costing millions of dollars in unnecessary expenses in the U.S. annually with operational batteries being sent to smelters and landfills prematurely.

By : 
Guy Ramsey
The failure of property and casualty insurers is not an uncommon event.
By : 
Mike Larson
National economists and analysts who keep tabs on the construction and machinery industries are predicting 2014 will be another year of slow, steady growth—one more firm step upward in the climb back to financial vitality.
By : 
Mike Larson
Anyone wanting proof that a big project can finish ahead of schedule, under budget, and at the highest level of safety need only look at the success of the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation’s Marquette Interchange reconstruction.
 
The four-year, $810-million project, completed in 2008, finished three months ahead of schedule, $10 million to $15 million under budget, and without a single fatality or critical injury. Its economy, speed, and safety have made it the model for every Wis-DOT mega project since.
By : 
Mike Larson
In August, I had the privilege of covering the Midwest skills competition for crane operators. That event, held in metropolitan Chicago, was one of several scheduled to take place all over North America in the coming months.
By : 
Debbie Dickinson

Just because OSHA has proposed a delay to operator certification, it doesn’t mean it’s sure to happen. Employers and operators should take notice of recent activity in Washington, D.C.

OSHA is proposing to move the compliance deadline for crane operator certification up by three years to Nov. 10, 2017. Currently, the date for certification is set for Nov. 10, 2014. The qualification requirements cover cranes and derricks used in construction work. Once OSHA issued the original notification regarding the compliance date, they began to receive many concerns from within the industry, which lead them to propose the extended deadline.

By : 
Mike Larson
What are some of the top training concerns for today’s contractors and crews? That is a pretty broad question because training can apply to so many areas of a company.
By : 
Katie Pullen

For rough-terrain forklift manufacturers, another EPA Tier standard is in effect in the quest for clean-burning diesel engines.


In the May 2012 issue of Lift and Access, editor Mike Larson pointed out that the non-road diesel engine industry would be dealing with the EPA’s Tier 4 Interim (Tier 4i) regulations kicking in that year. These new standards would apply to engines having ratings from 75 to 174 hp.